Upper Valley Dispatch

Bridgewater, Pomfret Agree to Merge Schools

Voters at Town Meeting in Bridgewater this morning voted 111-11 to close Bridgewater Village School. Later, voters in Pomfret finalized the plan, 84-2, which involves merging elementary school students from the two towns into a new district at The Pomfret School. The K-6 Bridgewater Village School has helped form the heart of the community for a century, but enrollment has dropped to just 36 students, less than half what it was a decade ago. Find a full report in Wednesday’s Valley News. ∎ Posted online

Coming Sunday: Portraits of Sugar Makers

Throughout the past few weeks, I’ve traversed the Upper Valley to photograph and interview local sugar makers and find out how they learned the craft of making maple syrup. The highlight for me was having a firsthand look in the education process, as I documented fifth-graders learning the sugaring process at the Pomfret School. Each student was equally captivated with learning which trees can be tapped for syrup (many more than I had previously thought, including red, silver, and sugar maples, ironwood, birch, and box

Young Bands of the Upper Valley: Watch Their Videos

You may have seen the article in Thursday’s Valley News featuring a trio of young musicians and musical groups in the Upper Valley: Billy Sharff, Coquette and The Grand Mandibles. Here’s a collection of some of their YouTube videos. The video at the top of the page is for Sharff’s song, “I Was Lost,” from the feature film Before I Sleep. Another video of the Cornish resident playing a song can be seen here, and an additional track is here. Coquette, a band comprising brothers

Valley Visual: Oscars at the Rev: ‘An Excuse to Get Dressed Up’ (6 Photos)

Kim Souza, owner of Revolution, was sick of hearing, “This is a beautiful dress, but where would I wear it?” So in 2008 after a friend suggested the idea, Souza decided to host a black-tie Academy Awards party at the small clothing boutique in White River Junction. Since then, the party has ballooned into a large-scale annual event. On Sunday night, the eighth Oscar’s party at Revolution garnered more than a hundred attendees. Partygoers, dressed in tuxes and evening gowns, gathered in the lobby of

Video: Rainbow-Colored Corn Starch and a Snowy Course at Eastman

Grantham — Picture ‘Ghostbusters,’ plus snow, plus bursts of rainbow-colored cornstarch — and you might have a sense of the scene at Eastman Recreation’s first Color Trek event, which was hosted on Saturday. Perhaps you’ve seen videos of similar events during warmer months, when runners, dressed in all white, race through the explosions of color during 5K races and the like. For the event on Saturday, which raised more than $1,200 for David’s House, more than 100 people — myself among them — braved blustery

Coming Sunday: The Adventures of 13 Sled Dogs and Their Orford Owner

Orford — It isn’t easy owning 13 dogs. But Orford resident Fran Plaisted wouldn’t have it any other way. For about 20 years Plaisted, who will be featured in the upcoming Sunday Valley News, has been a competitive musher. Her dogs, mostly German pointer and husky mixes, all live at her Orford home, where they have a sleeping space and one acre of fenced-in land to play on. In addition to tending to her racing team, Plaisted is raising two puppies and taking care of

Lawyer: Dellinger to Plead Guilty to Negligent Homicide in Fatal Lebanon Crash (Updated 2:30 p.m.)

North Haverhill — A Sunapee man is expected to plead guilty to reduced charges in the death of a pregnant Vermont woman and her fiancé on Interstate 89 in Lebanon, according to his lawyer. Robert Dellinger is due in court Thursday for a plea hearing. His lawyer, Peter Decato, says Dellinger plans to plead guilty to two counts of negligent homicide in the December 2013 deaths of 24-year-old Amanda Murphy and 29-year-old Jason Timmons of Wilder. Dellinger is also expected to plead guilty to second-degree

Friends of Lemax Barn in North Hartland Turn to Kickstarter

You may remember reading last summer about the Lemax Barn in North Hartland, where the Upper Valley community was rallying to raise an estimated $160,000 for repairs to the aging, historic yellow barn on Route 5. So far, so good. The Friends of Lemax Farm reported raising nearly $60,000 in the first six months, and plan to apply for a Vermont Department of Historic Preservation barn grant that could give up to $15,000 in matching funds. Now the Friends group is turning to the Internet

19 Days: Small and Large Businesses Share Playing Field in Norwich-Based Fundraiser

Norwich — During the holiday fundraising extravaganza organized by Dan Fraser, who co-owns Dan & Whit’s, participating businesses donated one percent of sales made during the first 19 days of December. One woman was sheepish about handing over her one percent — a check for $3.03, Fraser said in a recent interview. “It’s nothing,” she told him. But Fraser, who will be profiled in the upcoming Sunday Valley News, saw it differently. Three dollars here, a few hundred there — it all adds up, he

Lake Fairlee Fishing Derby Results Announced

Fairlee — The Upper Valley Fish and Game Club has officially announced the results of the all-night 32nd annual fishing derby that got Fairlee resident Waco Pushee’s adrenaline pumping on Sunday. Kudos to the many derby participants who set up cozy shanties on the ice before the midnight start time and proved that ice fishing is perhaps the only sport at which one can be successful while fast asleep. Longtime derby judge Rhett Scruggs sent out the following results after weighing each fish caught by